EAST PRAIRIE - The East Prairie Eagles did so many things right in Friday night's contest against the state-ranked (Class 2) South Pemiscot Bulldogs, but suffered their fifth loss of the season, falling 60-57.
The Eagles (15-5) were led by Preston Shoemaker who had a 23-point performance including 11-12 from the charity stripe.
South Pemiscot improved to 13-3.
Jessie Brock opened up the scoring and set the tone for the game for the Bulldogs when he connected on a 3-pointer at the 7:40 mark. Brock went on to lead all scorers in the contest with 27 points including five treys. Chance Rucker had 13.
Shoemaker kept the Eagles in the running with six points in the frame and hit all four of his free throws.
The Eagles led after one 14-10.
Anthony Jones reached double figures with 10 points for the Eagles.
East Prairie opened up the second quarter with a 9-3 run. Shoemaker continued his torrid free-throw shooting by sinking all three after being fouled on a 3-point shot. He then capped the run with a bucket and the Eagles led by a dozen at 25-13 for the largest lead of the game.
Anthony Jones, who had 17 points in the game, brought the Bulldogs back with eight straight points, and the lead was cut to five at 25-20.
The Bulldogs threatened to take the lead when it was cut to 29-28 with under a minute left, but Shoemaker canned a deuce on a buzzer-beater and the score at the half was 31-28, Eagles.
Both teams tallied 19 points in the third quarter. The two teams were tied five times. At the one minute mark, Ben Walters put the Eagles up by four at 48-44, but Brock pulled the Bulldogs to within one with a three-pointer before Tony Jones got a bucket to make the score 50-47 at the end of three.
"East Prairie has a very good basketball team. We feel very fortunate to come out of here with a win, said South Pemiscot coach Chris Moore. "I saw them play at Bloomfield and I knew they could play, but since then they have really been playing well. We got some good looks there in the fourth quarter, and hit some big free throws and came away with the win."
The Eagles really struggled in the fourth quarter. Due to some costly turnovers, they stayed scoreless until the 4:05 juncture when Shoemaker hit a conventional 3-point play. South Pemiscot had built a 54-50 lead at that point but that made the score 54-53, Bulldogs.
East Prairie regained the advantage with 0:56 left on the clock when Dez Johnson got a bucket, but that would be the last points the Eagles would score.
With 38 seconds left Brock hit his fifth trifecta, and the Bulldogs stymied a last-ditch 3-point attempt by East Prairie.
"The kids really gave the effort, we just didn't make the plays at the end, South Pem did and they denied the big shot. We shot the ball well, but we had too many turnovers," said Eagle coach Jason Irby.
"You can't give a good team like South Pem opportunities like that. They will take advantage and they did tonight.''
In the jayvee contest, South Pemiscot won 56-47.
East Prairie will travel to Puxico on Tuesday night to take on the Indians.